Comfort casual food made from scratch. Famous for our brunch and now offering a great lunch and dinner menu.
Oh so friendly and charming staff, mellow vibe and low lighting, and fabulous food, especially since it was the $18 menu for DOV.
Service was seamless, and struck the perfect balance of being friendly but not intrusive. Every bite of the food was delicious, the wine pairings were perfect.
Five of us tried every one of the options available and noone was disappointed. We'll definitely be back again and again, even though it's a long drive for us.
I have been to Central a few times because I like to give a restaurant a chance. My first experience was very good and it's been downhill since then. On about my third visit for eggs benedict, I received completely raw and runny eggs. White gelatinous embryo running everywhere. I returned them and held my breath hoping the rumours of returning food wouldn't hold true. They came back rock hard. I guess the chef sure showed me.
I went another time after that because a friend wanted to go and I'm all for giving a neighbourhood restaurant my business. But it was a terrible experience. We were seated in the back. Have you ever looked at those sofas? They're disgusting. I asked to be moved because of the sofas, and we moved to the front and were virtually ignored. The two female waiters helped people who were seated after us. So we got the hint and left...I was so disappointed.
None of my friends go to Central anymore either. The one thing I can say about that last disappointing time is that the two male waiters who are usual really nice were not there, neither was the owner. Maybe things would've been different if they were there...I'm not sure. But I do know, I've lost the taste for that restaurant.
Last night we were visiting our friends in the westend as the evening wore on it was clearly time to get some food. Take out was not an option as one person in our group was vegan. So we decided to head out in the neighborhood to see if there was anthing to meet our needs. (there really isn't much along Denman Street!)
We came across the central and a review of the menu made it clear that not only did they have a good selection of dinner options there was more than an ample amount of vegan items on the menu as well
We went on in and were warmly greeted (we later learned that here name was Crystal, note to self should call the management...she was great)
The room was buzzing and radiated warmth with the candle light and fireplace (very nice!) Crystal mentioned that this was thier 2nd month kuddo guys nice job on the decor.
We decided to split a couple of appys and satays. This was a perfect way to start...we were completely suprised by the depth of flavors... good & varied..covered all the bases hot, spicy, sweet, saltly. We orderd our main courses... I of course ordered the mushroom risotto (this was not a vegan option but as mentioned they did I vegan for me!
My friends ordered a tenderloin with scallop gratin qoute "wicked, the best meal they ever had", herb roasted chicken " again great flavors that were not expected, a salmon with horseradish crust...though a touch dry for her liking was still a great dish and finally a cobb salad.
Overall a great job, the room continued to ebb and flow through out the evening always full. We found our server Crystal to be a jewel but a scan of the room clearly should that this was the case throughout the room.
Would highly recommend the central to anyone
We've visited this restaurant several times since ownership changed hands. We have had only great meals and great service. We are greeted at the door as returning friends and seated and served promptly. The menu has one or two two new items each time we come, but our favourite standbys are also there.
The food at the Central is real - fresh and flavourful - and the portions are sized reasonably. Desserts are fabulous. The servers at the Central are cheerful, friendly and knowledgeable. They represent the restaurant well. I have eaten in many restaurants in Vancouver; at prices ranging from the cheap to the ridiculous. The Central has the best food - regardless of price. Why go anywhere else?
We decided to pop in for an impromptu late supper one weeknight, and had a good experience overall. We were seated on the patio, and our server brought us cozy fleece blankets in case we got cold, which was a nice touch. The drinks were fine and the food - mussels and fries - were fresh and tasty. The bill seemed appropriate for the quality of the food and the location. Our server was polite and friendly. The only minor complaint we had was that she didn't come back to check on us after our meals were served, and we had to flag her down for the bill. Overall, a nice little spot for a casual laid-back meal.
My last review for Central was over three years ago, it's too bad.....apparently I should have waited another three years, it may that long to get it right. I always give places a second chance depending on the situation, and I always give the benefit of the doubt (how busy they are at the time).
Tuesday night I was meeting friends from out of town (Chef/Owners) of a very successful restaurant themselves. They called from Central, I thought this will be the second chance. I arrived and was asked if I wanted a drink in an appropriate amount of time, got my drink and that's when it ended. We never got asked if we wanted menu's, other drinks nothing, we didn't even get the extra lime we asked for. We decided we might be better off elsewhere so we asked for the bill, sometime later one of us decided to go inside to pay the bill. I took a look around, 4 people on the patio and maybe 15 inside with what appeared to be 4 servers on the floor. Sad to say but all Central has going now is the location.
I gave the food rating poor because we didn't get menu's in which to order food.
Service rating poor because we didn't really get any service either.
Value poor as well because I will never know.
Ambiance got decent because I think it's a good location.
We went to another place had some great service, great drinks and food.
I live in the West end and received a card advertising 'Central is where the locals go' - there was a coupon for a free desert that was good for almost a year (nice). So I went on a Thursday evening about 7 p,m. As I walked in and stood in the doorway I began looking over the selection of local newspapers that were there for diners to read while waiting for their meal... the bartender looked over at me with a look like I'd come in to steal a newspaper; he said with one of those tones used with homeless people "may I help you", before I responded he must have figured out I was there for a meal and not his newspaper; he suggested I "have a seat anywhere", which I did. It was a bit cramped, however a waiter came over promptly and suggested I move to a table across from where I sat, if I liked, and that he'd ask whoever had their coat on the chair to move it. It was a quite kind of him to do that, but I thanked him and stayed where I was. He then went over the evening's specials: a couple of pasta dishes for around $12 - $13. I ordered the soup of the day which was cream of mushroom. It was a long wait (15 minutes perhaps), but well worth it as the soup was really delicious. I looked over the menu and an accompanying sheet that had about four dinner entrees on it ($16 to $23 range). The menu was dived into "small plates" and something else, (I can't remember the title), but the meals were in the $12 to $18 range. I ordered a burger (plain except sauces + mushrooms) with a small touch of salad on the same plate $13 + $1). It also took about 15 minutes to arrive. Again, it was worth the wait as it was very well made. I then asked if I might use the coupon for the free desert and was told it was only to be used with an "entree". sure enough, it did say that on the coupon. I guess the only entrees were the dishes on the separate sheet that accompanied the menu. I was a bit taken aback as I'd ordered a $6 soup and a $13 hamburger + $1 for mushrooms... so $20 spent on a meal and the coupon wasn't honored; a bit of a let down. (The $13+ burger, $16 salmon and $16 rib meals on the menu aren't entrees... uhhm). I ordered the desert special (New York cheesecake $5) and it was also very well made. While I was there the music was blaring, and I mean blaring (I'm no old guy) and folks were almost yelling at each other to be heard; sort of like when you're trying to talk to someone at a concert. To sum up, The ambiance was friendly but very loud. The food arrived after long waits, but was delicious (much better than I expected). The service was good (except for the bartenders initial miscue) however the value just wasn't there - the prices (in my opinion) are too high for this Denman cafe/bistro - $30 for soup, burger, cheesecake and a glass of water - tip included. I won't go there again. The food was very good though.
Last night, me and a friend of mine stopped in at Central on Denman street. I use to frequent the Brass Monkey, the previous location, not because of the food but rather because Jay, a host and server, use to provide excellent service. It was long after several visits though, that a notice went up about renovations. Soon enough, the Monkey had close down for reasons that I will fairly discount as rumour. The look for Central hasn't changed much, but I don't hold much hope for this restaurant altogether. The crowd was certainly close to capacity as it should be at such a 'central' location at dinner time in late June.
We were seated, as requested, on the patio. This is a good area in some ways as the shade provided by the trees is a welcome respite from the summer sun. Unfortunately, the trees are a bane as much as blessing. Along the wooden patio railing are several bird poop droppings that will obviously kill an appetite, especially if you've ordered eggs. The railing needs to either be cleaned frequently, or the area partially covered to protect from the foul droppings.
Our hostess/server was cheerful enough but not attentive. She took our order after about 10 minutes (too long in such a small location). The martini my partner had ordered was quite good, but the non-alcoholic coke I ordered was syrupy and without much carbonation. After eating half the meal, our hostess ask us how everything was. Her insincerety was clear as when I said "fine", with little enthusiasm, she said "great!" and moved along, never to return until bill time. The food itself did not seem fresh. We had order a kind of taste-of-appetizers plate, the name of which I do not recall. It had skewers of chicken, beef, shrimp and button mushrooms. The mushrooms were greasy and without much flavour. The chicken and beef portions were small, and the two kinds of pita and dip were nothing I would consider trying again.
I have only been into Central for breakfast and overall it is pretty good. I have never had any real complaints with the food, it is always good and dependable. The service is generally good although it tends to fall down pretty fast when it gets busy. There sometimes doesn't seem to be much order in which people are running tables, and I have on several occasions not been served for up to 10-15 minutes.
Overall though, it's good. Next step: check out the dinner meals...